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Today, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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One dead in Rathupaswala protest; factory temporarily closed

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One person injured in the unrest that took place in Rathupaswala, Weliweriya earlier this evening has succumbed to his injuries. At least 10 others were hospitalized following clashes between protesters and members of the security forces and police.

Earlier reports said police had fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters in an attempt to force them off the new Colombo-Kandy road, which they had been blocking, causing traffic disruptions.

Meanwhile, the factory at the centre of the protest has been temporarily closed down. The decision was taken following discussions held between representatives from the area and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa this evening.

Accordingly, the factory, which area residents accuse of being responsible for ground water pollution in the area due to irresponsible disposal of waste water, will remain closed for two weeks until investigations are completed to determine the truth of the allegations.

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